WARNING: If you have not already watched Riverdale's midseason finale — Episode 308, "Chapter 43: Outbreak" — hop on your motorcycle and ride out of this article! For everyone else, hunker down with your loved ones and listen up!
Things on Riverdale are only getting crazier!
In Wednesday night's midseason finale, a large part of Hiram's wickedly twisted plan has been revealed and the town of Riverdale is now under quarantine. But are you still confused? Yeah, us too!
To help clear things up — and give you a much-needed relationship update for Choni and Varchie — ET called up Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and asked him some of our biggest questions: What is Hiram really up to? Will we get more romance between Cheryl and Toni in season three? And are Veronica and Reggie going to be more than friends?
Keep scrolling for answers to these and so much more!
ET: It’s interesting that you’re calling episode 308, “Chapter 43: Outbreak,” the Riverdale midseason finale due to the fact that there are going to be 22 episodes in season three. Would you consider this to be the midway point of the season’s storyline?
Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa: We get our schedule for our airdates really early on and we try our best to kind of figure it out. Last year, our midseason finale was episode nine and this year it was episode eight. What we really kind of saw is that there are actually, more or less, three chunks of episodes, but no one is calling this the first third finale. In our minds, there are three sort-of specific chunks of episodes that, of course, tell one big story — but each one of them has its own identity and its own driving force. These first eight have been about Archie out of Riverdale, the effect of the game, and the Gargoyle King. When we come back, there will be a different kind of focus, but those mysteries and stories will continue.
By the end of the midseason finale, fans discover Hiram’s plan — but we’re still left with quite a few questions. The town has been quarantined, but we’re still not really sure why. What’s going on?
That’s a really good question! The big question is why in God’s name would Hiram Lodge want the town of Riverdale to be quarantined? What does he gain? How is this part of his master plan? It doesn't feel like this is the end point, and in fact, it isn’t — it’s the next phase of his master plan. But the question that a bunch of the characters are asking when we come back is, why the quarantine? And it’s definitely a bit of a mystery. It’s always difficult to understand what his agenda is, but it’s definitely something we’re going to unpack. We’re not going to unpack this immediately when we get back, but sooner rather than later.
Fans finally get to meet Gladys and Jellybean Jones in the midseason finale. What were you most excited for fans to see with these two kickass ladies?
Gladys and Jellybean are characters we’ve been talking about since season one and what’s really fun is that people have been as obsessed with Jellybean as they’ve been with Gladys. In the past when we’ve introduced new characters, it has often been grownups — Mark Consuelos [as Hiram Lodge] being a great example and we have introduced new students like Toni Topaz and The Serpents. But Jellybean is sort of the first younger character that we’re introducing and that’s been really, really fun. And the great thing I think about Gina [Gershon] is she’s such a badass, but she also has real warmth and I think that makes her a very dangerous character. She has a certain ruthlessness, but she also has a maternal and loving side as well and that’s a combusted sort of combination. It’s been great having her on the show and we’re just kind of really digging into all the trouble she’s making.
It’s funny, that was a scene that was in the finale, that we didn't air. Sometimes it’s because of timing, and other times it’s because we’re like, “Oh, this just feels a little bit fast.” And it felt like the crisis of the quarantine and the crisis of the seizures was something that would motivate Cheryl saying to Toni, “Why don’t you move in here with me?” Even though there’s crazy stuff going on in the episodes, we wanted to make room for those character moments and I’m happy to say that that is the start of a little bit more of a focus on Cheryl and Toni.
Does this mean we can expect to see more romance from Choni moving ahead?
Definitely more romance. We’re going to learn more about Toni and Toni’s world and there’s going to be drama.
Speaking of drama, it was pretty dramatic and slightly heartbreaking when Archie decided to call up Veronica and break things off. And now, it seems like we’re getting a flicker of flirtations between Veronica and Reggie. What’s going on, Roberto?
Yeah, there’s definitely chemistry between Reggie and Veronica. I will say though, at the risk of being provocative, that the phone call between Archie and Veronica — which Cami and KJ played so beautifully — that really was driven by circumstance. Neither Archie nor Veronica wanted to break up so, in my mind, they’re driven apart by circumstance but they haven't exactly broken up. I think the question that they’ll face is: When their circumstances change — and absolutely they will for Archie — where does that leave Veronica and Archie? And I think that’s up ahead. So Varchie fans: it ain't over. And people who are looking forward to Reggie and Veronica: slow down, kids.
Riverdale season three returns Wednesday, Jan. 16 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.